Outdoor spiral staircase designs are not just a structural element of buildings or a functional element of the architecture to ease the movement from one floor to the other.
More and more they become a decorative accent and many design projects were created so that elegant spiral staircases became a highlight of the exterior. Why should you choose an outdoor spiral staircase? What are the pros and cons of spiral staircases? How do they work with different styles? In this article we shall look at the different materials and their advantages and disadvantages and will give you some inspiring ideas and examples of beautiful outdoor spiral staircase designs.
Outdoor spiral staircase designs – a combination between function and aesthetics
What are spiral staircases? In terms of construction spiral staircases consist of a supporting structure, usually a pillar, treads and handrails and the treads radiate around the center pole. Outdoor spiral staircase designs can become an element that contributes to the decor, the exterior design concept and the overall appearance of the house.
The need to have a ladder that allows us to connect with the upper floor and did not have enough space to place positions us face a big problem. In such cases, outdoor spiral staircase designs become one of the best solutions. While the stairs can be made of various materials when it comes to exterior spiral stairs wrought iron, natural wood and stainless steel are among the best options. Perhaps such stairs are a little more expensive, because you can find cheaper alternatives from other materials, but the truth is that being outside, the stairs are constantly exposed to various climatic factors and need to have a high degree of resistance. If you choose a budget friendly option for your spiral staircase it is quite possible that not before long you may have to replace it with a new one. It is important to understand that the exterior staircase is an investment and you would want to use the stairs for years to come.
Pros and cons of outdoor spiral staircase designs
One of the key advantages of spiral stairs is that they are very compact. Exterior spiral staircases are very popular on beach front decks, as a staircase leading to the backyard, the garden pool, etc. Spiral staircases are a space saving option as they can be placed in areas with limited space. A spiral staircase is the perfect option if you have a small garden deck and you do not want to lose any of the available space. In this way you will have the opportunity to use the deck space for outdoor furniture, or have more space for your children to play.
Another advantage of exterior spiral staircases is the visual appeal. There are many original ideas which offer great aesthetics and a feeling of lightness and airiness. A spiral staircase is always attractive and there are many options for railings styles which can have a major impact on the overall appearance of the staircase. The curved lines of spiral staircases are more elegant than the traditional linear stairs and many people prefer this type of stairs for the beautiful look. Further to that, the manufacturing and installation of spiral staircases require less materials, compared to alternative options, which makes them relatively cheaper.
The installation of spiral staircases is easier since the center pole and landing typically provide the structural support for the stairs. A spiral staircase can be placed centrally or at the side of the house, depending on the architectural project and the desired visual effect. Spiral staircases do not block the light flow coming into the house which is of great importance as well.
The market offers spiral staircase kits or pre-assembled spiral staircases in a wide range of shapes, sizes and materials. Those options are budget friendly and you can easily find a staircase to complement the design of your home.
Without any doubt, an exterior spiral staircase adds value to your home, which is an important point if you have plans to sell the house in the future. Depending on the material, exterior spiral staircases are very durable and often last a lifetime. Custom-made staircases are more expensive than pre-fab, but the end result is much more impressive and beautiful as you can choose the materials according to your taste or home decor.
Outdoor spiral staircase designs – disadvantages and useful tips to keep in mind
It is true that outdoor spiral staircase designs offer striking appearance and visual appeal. However there have a few drawbacks and you should keep them in mind when choosing an exterior staircase. The compactness of spiral staircase is an advantage but this can be a big drawback as well. Spiral staircases are steeper and more difficult to climb. Such staircases are a challenge to elderly people or disabled people and if you have family members with special needs, it is better to choose another type of staircase. Many people find the circular movement as one climbs or descends the staircase to be unnerving and feel unstable, insecure and uncomfortable. Therefore, there is a possibility of slipping and falling.
Another disadvantage of spiral staircases is the small width of the tread which makes them more difficult to navigate than other types of stairs. The shape of the treads is triangular and the narrow end is attached to the central pole and outside diameter gets larger. If you have the space, it is recommended to opt for larger treads and bigger diameter. Only one person can go up or down the stairs at the same time when spiral staircases have a small diameter.
Spiral staircases, especially the space saving designs, are not a good option to move furniture up and down. It is almost impossible to move large furniture pieces, so if you plan to buy an oversized sofa, for example, it’s something to consider.
Before installing an exterior spiral staircase, make sure that the building codes in your area do not prohibit such staircases. Some regulations can restrict the diameter of your spiral staircase in order to regulate its steepness so it is essential that you check that.
Outdoor spiral staircase designs – how to choose the best material
Outdoor spiral staircase designs feature different materials, but unlike indoor staircase material options, exterior staircases have to be durable and resistant to water, wind, rain, snow, temperature and this limits the options. The material you choose for your spiral staircase will depend on the personal taste, budget, and existing features of your home.
Metal outdoor spiral staircases are the most popular option and include steel, aluminum and iron. Metal staircases are resistant to changes in temperature, humidity and high traffic. There are different options – stainless steel, galvanized steel, zinc coated, which guarantee the durability of the staircase and the long life span. Metal spiral staircases work in a great way with modern and contemporary interiors. In addition, these staircases are low maintenance.
Aluminum spiral staircase is lightweight and durable. Aluminum is resistant to rust, which makes it an ideal option for exterior staircase. Manufacturers offer aluminum spiral staircases in a range of color options which makes it easier for homeowners to customize their staircase.
Wrought iron is a fantastic choice of material for a spiral staircase due to its durability and low maintenance. A wrought iron spiral staircase adds tons of charm and character to any property. For modern exteriors you can choose modern iron spiral staircase design or opt for ornate designs which work in Mediterranean exteriors, for example.
Wood offers the greatest visual appeal, but when it comes to exterior staircases, you should remember that wood requires regular maintenance and is susceptible to water damage. Wood is not coping very well with high levels of humidity, it may warp or rot, insects may cause damage to wood, so it is advisable to opt for a more durable material.
The design of a staircase can feature different materials and can even combine them to get the perfect solution for your needs. Usually we see designs that combine metal and wood and they fit perfectly to traditional, rustic, Mediterranean exteriors, especially when the staircase is made of wrought iron. Metal and glass outdoor spiral staircase design are a good choice for contemporary designs and houses. Enjoy the gallery below and get inspired as you will see how you can create an aesthetically pleasing staircase that complements any outdoor home design.